We have talked a number of times about “the fear of God” and how for the believer it no longer contains the fear of being punished for our sins…because of the cross – judgement, condemnation and punishment are gone for us.
Over vacation I was reading Living the Resurrection by Eugene Peterson and he has some interesting thoughts on the fear of God for the believer. Let me quote some for you.
“…in the Hebrew culture and the Hebrew Scriptures in which the word fear is frequently used in a way that means far more than simply being scared…It includes all the emotions that accompany being scared- disorientation, not knowing what is going to happen, the realization that there is far more here than we had any idea of. But that ‘more and other’ is God.”
“Fear of the Lord is the stock biblical term for this either sudden or cultivated awareness…We are not the center of our existence. We are not the sum total of what matters. We don’t know what is going to happen next.”
“Fear-of-the-Lord keeps us on our toes with our eyes open…prevents us from acting presumptuously…”
“Fear-of-the-Lord is fear with the scary element deleted.”
I like that – it reminds me of Brennan Manning’s NT definition of the fear of God as “silent wonder, radical amazement, affectionate awe – at the infinite goodness of God.”